Swiss food giant Nestlé has announced that it has agreed to sell its cocoa bean processing activities in York (UK) and in Hamburg (Germany) to US-based agribusiness Cargill.

Nestlé said the sale was part of its strategy to concentrate its activities on branded value-added products. The company said it expects the definitive agreements to be signed in early July 2004 and for the divestiture of the activities in York and
Hamburg to take effect on 1 October 2004. As part of the agreement, Cargill will also take over the personnel at the operations. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
As a result of this transaction Nestlé said it will enter into a long-term agreement with Cargill for the supply of cocoa products to certain of its European confectionery businesses. Cargill is a major cocoa supplier in Europe from its facilities in the Netherlands, France and the Ivory Coast. Cargill already supplies Nestlé globally with a range of ingredients such as vegetable oils and speciality starches.
Nestlé said the divestments form part of its long-term transformation strategy, and will have no impact on the group’s turnover.